Shri Sunda Ram Verma, a farmer based in Danta Ramgarh block of Sikar District in Rajasthan has discovered a method of growing a tree with just one litre of water. In other words, a plant would require one litre of water for its entire lifespan.
The method is a great boon not only for the water scarce district of Rajasthan but also for other arid regions of the country.
The basis for the technology is to break the capillary of the soil. To achieve this, ploughing is done two times – first would be five to seven days after the first rainfall and the second after the last rainfall in the area.
Such ploughing helps to break the capillary in upper portion of the soil. The capillary of lower portion of the soil remains intact and this enables moisture to reach the roots of the plants. However, since the capillary of topmost soil is broken, moisture from it is not lost to the environment. This helps a plant sustain itself throughout its life cycle with the available soil moisture.
According to reports, Verma accidentally developed this particular technique of ‘Dryland Agroforestry’ in 1985, which promotes water use efficiency and maximises production.
For this important methodology, Shri Sunda Ram ji has been awarded and felicitated at various platforms by the State and Central Government and various world organizations.
Thus far, the 68 year old farmer has grown more than 50,000 trees using this method. The best part is that this method can be used for plantations across the country and not just in Sikar.
The farmer is willing to impart training and necessary skills to those interested in taking up plantations using this method.
This was reported by the Jal Shakti Abhiyan team that visited the Godiawas Nursery where the innovative technique of using 1 litre water was used in a plantation of 300 plants. Given the water table and rainfall of district, it is clear that this method can be implemented on a larger scale in the district. Survival of plants in this type of plantation is reported to be as high as 90%.
The team comprised Central Nodal Officer (CNO), Smt Dipti Mohil Chawla, Joint Secretary, MoD; Block Nodal Officer (BNO), Shri Anoop Kumar, Deputy Secretary, MoSPI; and Technical Officers (TO), Shri Guru Prasad. J, Deputy Director, Central Water Commission, and Shri Abhishek Gaurav, Deputy Director, Central Water Commission.